FAQ's on Wicca

pentacle on celtic cross
pentacle on celtic cross
pentacle on celtic cross
pentacle on celtic cross

Q:
I have heard that Wiccans only believe in the divinity of Goddess and God and that other paths believe in gods that are local and in the gods of the trees, rocks, etc.

A:
Wiccans are a diverse lot; I have met atheistic Wiccans who affirm no divinity, for example. Most Wiccans worship Goddess and her beloved consort the Lord. Sometimes this takes the form of a particular pantheon, such as Greek, Roman, Scandinavian, Celtic, and so on. Some Wiccans honor the Goddess alone. In addition, Wiccans revere the sacred and divine within us and without. That includes honoring and recognizing the divine in the natural world.

Q:
People who believe in ethical precepts for their own ordinary and magickal doings are into goodness and light and are therefore “fluffy bunnies.”

A:
In Wicca, we speak of the law of three, as in whatever you put out into the world, it will revisit you. As a Wiccan High Priestess, I believe in the interconnected web of life and energy. If you put out carefully considered loving energy, we cannot calculate the ways that this intentional act could benefit people, animals, earth, perhaps into generations. I have heard it said eloquently that how we choose to live and do our magick will be encoded in the rituals and ways of living of our descendents, as we are the ancestors and ancestresses of the future. Therefore let us live and practice with great attentiveness and a view to how we impact the world.

The magickal arts are to be used with great care. Being a profoundly ethical witch is too intelligent, considered, and generous to wear the title ‘fluffy bunny!’

Q:
Isn’t Wicca is a made up religion? Didn’t Gerald Gardner patch it up from other mystery traditions? I have heard that there was no “Old Dorothy” who allegedly initiated Gardner.

A:
Doreen Valiente herself who was a student of Gerald Gardner finally traced Old Dorothy. Dorothy Clutterbuck was actually born in India, as her father was involved in Britain’s Indian campaign. Valiente also found Clutterbuck’s death certificate, as she died in England, and pieced together the facts that indicate that Old Dorothy Clutterbuck had left Gardner her entire library upon her death.

We simply cannot assert that Old Dorothy was not herself initiated. However, I know this personally that when teachers die, traditions and lineages may be lost with them. The liturgy of Wicca, much of it created by Doreen herself, such as the Charge of the Goddess is stunning and beautiful. The initiations and mysteries of Wicca are handed down through the lineage from the most traceable source: Gardner himself. How old these rites are is not the point. They are certainly connected to ancient sources in the worship of the Goddess which harkens back even to Paleolithic (stone age) communities. Wicca as practiced is indeed a “living tradition” and is as vibrant, interesting and flexible as other neo-Pagan paths.

Wiccans do not believe all one thing, or practice all alike, though there are great similarities in the structure of Wiccan ritual across the entire globe: a sign of the resiliency and energy of our path, and of the growth of our religion.

Q:
How can you be considered Gardnerian if you don’t worship skyclad or have an exact number of women and men in the coven?

A:
Good question. Grove of Gaia is Gardnerian because we are in direct lineage from Gardner himself. We do not have the same number of men and women in the coven because men are generally scarcer than women in Pagan spheres. We love both men and women in Grove of Gaia and welcome all to our practice. We do not practice skyclad because we practice in beautiful robes. We also practice with children whom we honor and protect by remaining clothed.

Therefore Grove of Gaia is an eclectic Gardnerian group.

Q:
What is the difference between a grove and coven? Don’t Driuds usually call their groups groves?

A:
Druids often do like to name their practice groups ‘groves.’ In Wicca, a grove generally focuses more upon teaching and education in the coven and/or community. Covens on the other hand tend to be more private practice groups, though this is not always necessarily the case. Some Wicca practice groups also like the names ‘grove’ ‘coven’ or ‘circle’ and they are a reflection of the group’s aesthetic choices for how they call themselves, often with no appreciable distinctions in practice between these names.

Q:
Lady Annabelle, you say that you ‘work in love for all’. What do you mean by this?

A:
This means that I work out of the spirit of love in all I do in the name of Grove of Gaia. Does this mean that I am loving all the time? No. I would be a robot if I could do this, or I would be so advanced that I would stop reincarnating!

This means that I hold the interests of the people in Grove of Gaia very dear, and I give them the best I can muster. I do always balance the love and deep respect for the individuals with a mindfulness of what is best for the Grove as a whole. This is the nature of ethical and responsible leadership.

I also keep an attitude of humility. This keeps me from feeling too important. At the same time, I am the ultimate leader and so the buck stops here.

It also means that the ethical principle of power-within instead of power-over operates in Grove of Gaia. Power-within acknowledges the development of power in our practitioners, but it is informed by a loving world-view, not a stingy, jealous, angry, or manipulative view that is engendered by power-over magick.

It also means that we are truly inclusive to diverse practitioners and students in Grove of Gaia; we welcome and include people of color, people of any sexual orientation or gender expression, people who are in traditional families, and those in non-traditional arrangements; we are open to retirees, to children and grandchildren of Grove of Gaia members, and to teens who have reached the age of eighteen.

This commitment to inclusion is in Grove of Gaia’s spirit of “Working in Love for All.”

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